International Fee Refund

International Fee Refund

SUMMARY

The International Fee Refund Policy establishes how Macquarie University will manage refunds of tuition fees for full-fee paying international students.

POLICY

1     PURPOSE

This policy specifies how Macquarie University will manage refunds of tuition fees for full-fee paying international students.

2     BACKGROUND

Education institutions delivering courses to international fee paying students are required to comply with the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000, the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (the National Code 2007) and the Tuition Protection Scheme. 

This policy specifies the conditions and timing for managing tuition fee refunds to enable compliance with the relevant legislation.

3     SCOPE

This policy applies to fees paid to Macquarie University by international fee paying students for tuition charges.

This policy does not cover:

  • Students enrolled at Macquarie’s English Language Centre (ELC), who are covered by the refund policy of the ELC.
  • Students enrolled in the Master of Research (MRes) Program and Higher Degree Research candidates who are covered by the refund policy of the Higher Degree Research Office (HDRO).
  • Students who are enrolled at Macquarie University and are receiving funding under United States Direct Loan program where there are specific regulations that overrule the provisions of this policy (see the US Financial Aid Policy).
  • Students who participate in the inbound Study Abroad program and who pay fees to a third party provider or home institution, will be subject to the refund policy of that provider or institution.
  • Fees for Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) payable to the University’s Health Insurance provider. The Insurance Provider has their own refund policy that applies to fees paid by a student, sponsor or by the University on behalf of the student.
  • Fees payable to any Third Party Providers who deliver courses offered to students as part of a Packaged Program.

4     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

Census Date: Census date forms part of the University’s calendar of Important Academic Dates. Actual dates for each study period are published on the University website under Fees and costs
Commencement Date: The first day of the student’s Commencing Study Period as detailed in the Letter of Offer. This will usually be the Monday of the student’s first week of classes.
Commencement Fee: A deposit charged to international students when they accept their offer of admission to the University which contributes towards the tuition fees in their course. The amount of the Commencement Fee is specified in the Letter of Offer. Some categories of students may be eligible to pay a partial or $0.00 Commencement Fee.
Commencing Student: An international student who has accepted the offer of a University place and who will commence their course on the Commencement Date or who has commenced their course and is in their first Study Period.
Commencing Study Period: The first study period in which the student enrols in the course. For students enrolled in a Macquarie University International College (MUIC) program, the Commencing Study Period is deemed to be the first two MUIC terms.  
Confirmation of Enrolment (COE): document provided to an international student when they have accepted the offer of admission to a course. This document is produced from the Department of Education and Training’s PRISMS system.
Continuing Student: A student who has completed at least one Study Period in the course and remains effectively enrolled.
Course: A program of study which includes study periods that may be called a session, semester or term.
Deduction Amount: Amount deducted from an approved fee reversal or refund
ESOS Act 2000: The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, or ESOS Act, is a set of legislative requirements and standards for the regulation of education and training institutions offering courses to international students in Australia on a student visa.
Fee Refund: A process whereby the University pays funds from the student’s University account to the student or approved third party. Fee refunds are not the same as fee reversals.
Fee Reversal: A process whereby fees that were charged to the student’s University account are reversed or waived.
International Student: A student enrolled in a Macquarie University course or unit who is not an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident or a New Zealand Citizen.
Last Date to Withdraw from a Unit Without Academic Penalty: This forms part of the University’s calendar of Important Academic Dates. Actual dates for each study period are published on the University website under Important Dates.
Letter of Offer: Document provided to international applicants which details the Course, Intake, Fees and conditions for which they have been offered admission.
Packaged Program: A program that includes multiple courses, which may or may not be wholly provided by the University.
Sponsored student: A student who is sponsored by a third party who has provided the University with a Financial Guarantee for the cost of all or part of the tuition and other related fees.
Study Period: A period of study of up to 24 weeks.
Tuition Fees: Fees payable by an International student to the University for each Study Period.

5     POLICY STATEMENT

Eligibility for Refund of Tuition Fees

1) Where a Commencing Student withdraws from a Course

The Commencement Fee is a deposit, charged to full-fee paying international students when they accept the offer of admission to the University.

a) Where a commencing student withdraws from a course prior to, or during, their Commencing Study Period and requests a refund of fees in writing, the University will deduct the following amounts:

Withdrawal Date

Deduction Amount

Prior to Commencement Date:

20% of Commencement Fee

After arrival in Australia from offshore but prior to the Commencement Date

20% of Commencement Fee

On or after Commencement Date but on or before Census Date:

50% of Commencement Fee

After Census Date:

100% of Commencement Fee

b) Where a student was not charged a Commencement Fee, or was charged a partial Commencement Fee e.g. less than the Tuition Fee for the first study period, the Tuition Fee charged for the first study period will be considered the Commencement Fee for the purpose of this policy and will be refunded in accordance with condition 1(a) above.

c) Where a commencing student withdraws from a course and provides documentary evidence that the application for a visa has been refused, the University may provide a full refund of the Commencement Fee paid.

d) Where a commencing student obtains permanent residency prior to Census Date, and completes a 'Notification of Residency Change of Status' form, with documentary evidence prior to census date, the student will be liable for the full fees applying to domestic students. The student may apply for a refund of the Commencement Fee paid and may be eligible for a partial refund in accordance with condition 1(a)(i) above.
Where the student obtains Permanent Residency Status after Census Date or advises the University after Census Date, the student will be classified as an international student for the remainder of that Study Period.

e) Where a student has completed a course in a packaged program and did not meet the entry requirements of the subsequent University course the student may be made an offer in an alternative course for which they do meet the entry requirements.
Alternatively, a student may apply to withdraw and will be eligible for a partial refund as per condition 1(a)(i) above.

f) Where a student does not commence the course and has not previously notified the University of their intention to withdraw from the course, the student’s offer will be withdrawn and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be notified by cancellation of the student’s COE within 31 days (14 days for Under 18-year-old students).
The student will be requested to submit withdrawal and refund documentation and will be refunded in accordance with condition 1(a) above.

2) Where a Continuing Student withdraws from a course

Tuition fees for continuing students enrolling in subsequent study periods are due on or before the start of the Study Period.

a) Where a Continuing Student withdraws from a course during a subsequent Study Period and requests a refund of fees in writing, the university will deduct the following amounts:

Withdrawal DateDeduction Amount

Prior to the first day of Study period:

 0%. Full refund of Tuition Fees Paid for the study period

On or after the first day of Study period but on or before Census Date:

20% of Tuition Fees for the Study Period

After Census Date:

100% of Tuition Fees for the Study Period

b) Where a Continuing Student is excluded from their course and has already paid tuition fees for the first Study Period of their exclusion, they will be eligible for a full refund as per condition 2(a)(i) above.

c) For the purpose of the refund policy, an International Student who withdraws from a Study Abroad Program is considered a Continuing Student and will be eligible for a refund as per condition 2(a). 

d) Where a Continuing Student obtains permanent residency prior to Census Date and notifies the University in the prescribed manner, with documentary evidence prior to Census Date, the student will be liable for the full fees applying to domestic students. The student may apply for a refund of Tuition Fees paid and may be eligible for a refund in accordance with condition 2(a)(i) above.

Where the student obtains Permanent Residency Status after Census Date or advises the University after Census Date, the student will be classified as an International Student for the remainder of that Study Period.

e) Where a Continuing Student withdraws from unit(s) after Census Date and is automatically assigned a “Withdrawn” status (on or prior to the Last Date to Withdraw from a Unit Without Academic Penalty) or a “Fail Withdrawn” status (after the Last Date to Withdraw from a Unit Without Academic Penalty) for the unit(s), condition 2(a)(iii) will apply. 

3) Where a Course cannot be delivered by the University

a) After a Commencing Student has accepted an offer to the University, and in the event that the University is unable to deliver the course as offered, the Commencing Student may be made an offer by the University in a suitable alternative course for a cost no higher than the cost of the originally offered course.

b) Alternatively, the Commencement Fee paid by the Student will be refunded in full within 14 days of the provider default provisions within Section 46D the ESOS Act 2000 being reported.

4) Special circumstances

Special consideration may be given to a fee reversal and refund request regardless of the provisions established in this policy, if a student withdraws from unit(s) or a course due to special circumstances.

All applications for consideration of special circumstances must satisfy the Guidelines for Applying for Remission/Refund in Special Circumstances (the Guidelines) and must be accompanied by independent documentary evidence.

a) An International Student who withdraws from unit(s) after the census date and submits an application to withdraw from units without penalty due to special circumstances, and is successful in that application, will then be automatically assessed for reversal of tuition fees and notified of the outcome.

Refer to the Guidelines for details regarding special circumstances and the required documentary evidence. More information is provided on the University website under Withdrawing without penalty.

b) An International Student who withdraws from a course due to special circumstances should refer to the Guidelines for details regarding special circumstances and the required documentary evidence and submit the following:

5) Refund Procedure

Where a student is eligible for a refund of fees according to the provisions of this policy, they should complete the International Request for Fee Refund form and submit the form to the Macquarie International office. Include any other required documents such as the International Student Withdrawal and Release Request. Requests for refunds should normally be made within four weeks of an event which qualifies the student for a refund.

Students who seek a refund or fee reversal under special circumstances should refer to condition 4 above.

6) Payment of Refunds

a) Payment of refunds will be made within four weeks of receiving the International Request for Fee Refund form and any other relevant documentation, except for cases under condition 3(b) above, where the refund will be paid within 14 days.

b) Payment will be made to an account in the student’s name, in the student’s country of permanent residence, except where:

  • the student has a valid visa beyond the conclusion of their program; or
  • the refund amount is less than $1,000 and the student has completed their studies.

c) Payment will be made by telegraphic transfer or electronic funds transfer (EFT) and will be made in Australian Dollars (AUD) or its foreign exchange equivalent.

d) Students who have been released to transfer to another Australian Higher Education Institution and have provided the unconditional Offer Letter of the institution, including the appropriate bank account details, can have their refund paid to that Institution.

e) Where a student is receiving sponsorship or a scholarship and their tuition has been paid by that sponsor or scholarship body, the refund will be paid to that organisation upon receipt of their invoice.

f) In specific circumstances where the refund must be made to a third party, the student must apply for special approval. A letter giving the reason and consent for payment to the third party, as well as evidence that proves the relationship of the third party and the student, must be attached to the International Request for Fee Refund form.   

7) Appeals

a) If a student is not satisfied with the decision made on a refund/reversal of fees, they may submit a written appeal to the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor within 28 days of the date of the refund decision. For an appeal to be considered, the appeal must address the University policy or procedure that was not correctly followed or provide additional documentary evidence that was not available at the time of the original request. 

The student will be informed of the result of the appeal within 14 days of the appeal being received by the the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

b) If the appeal is not upheld and the student is dissatisfied, the student may request assistance from the Student Ombudsman Service.

c) This agreement, and the availability of complaints and appeals processes, does not remove the right of the student to take action under Australia’s consumer protection laws.

8) Students Ineligible for a Refund

Please see the definitions section of this policy for the difference between a fee reversal and a fee refund.

a) Where a student has funds in their account due to a fee reversal, they can only be used to pay tuition fees and other administrative charges. They are not available for refund.

b) A student who has funds in their account and is not completing their studies in the current study period will not be eligible for a refund unless special consideration is requested by the student and agreed by the University. The credit will remain in the student’s account and will be allocated towards tuition fees for subsequent study periods. This includes credit from:

  1. Overpayment in any study period, and
  2. Withdrawal from one or more units after payment has already been made. 

c) If a student is found to have provided false or misleading information to Macquarie University at any time, the University reserves the right to retain up to 100% of any fees paid and may annul that student’s enrolment.

6          RELEVANT LEGISLATION

7     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

International Request for Fee Refund form

International Withdrawal and Release Request

Guidelines for Applying for Remission/Refund in Special Circumstances

Withdrawal without Penalty Website

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public

8     NOTES

8.1Contact OfficerCompliance Manager, Macquarie International
8.2Implementation OfficerDirector, International Administration, Macquarie International
8.3Approval AuthorityChief Operating Officer and DVC
8.4Date Approved30 January 2017
8.5Date of Commencement31 January 2017
8.6Date for Review31 December 2019
8.7Documents Superseded by this PolicyMacquarie International Refund Policy 2006
8.8Amendment History

22 February 2017: replaced reference to Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) with Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and updated hyperlinks to reference new Macquarie University website locations for:

International Request for Fee Refund form

International Withdrawal and Release Request

Guidelines for Applying for Remission/Refund in Special Circumstances

Withdrawal without Penalty Website

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